Thursday, September 10, 2009

A note on Hooliganism. . .

It is unfortunate in that hooliganism--an act of intolerance and anarchic disobedience neither short of prejudice nor ill-content--is so closely associated with a sport that has so often transcended the simple notions of a game; rather, it has been a facilitator of cultural competency, understanding, and social hospitality.

Whereas a club team can feature internationals from feuding states/nations, whereas a match may feature two teams with a history of war, how can fans who share everything besides team allegiance also share a loathing for each other?

What is it about this sport that makes fans nihilists?

What is it about this sport that can turn what should be an exercise in pride and celebration into violence, international humiliation, and immaturity?

All too often, Americans look at soccer (sic) within the frame of hooliganism, pint glasses, and scarves. While I questions the morality of NASCAR (HAHA) fans--also stated as Republicans--more than that of football hooligans, where in the football manifesto is hooliganism prescribed?

I'm the first to recognize the enormous global popularity of football and respect the international sentiment it poses, yet I'll always be quick to question the overriding character of the football fan. What is it in football that causes its escalation into something worth assaulting over? Something worth killing over? (See Honduras & El Salvador ("The Football War"))

It often seems that the radicalization of fans--referring clearly to hooliganism, but on a broader spectrum, as well, to describe those whom seem so soulfully attached to the fate of those teams they feel a right, rather than a privilege, to root for, to describe those less-than-able individuals that seem to despise those superstars whom they live vicariously through, yet despite of--is facilitated by their own failures of athletic prowess, their general disdain for those capable of successes and athletic feats that seem merely dream-worthy.
Now there is clearly difference in an alley bar-fight between feuding 21-year-olds from Iowa State and the University of Iowa and an escalation of violence between grown men where broken bottles, knives, and other metal objects are brandished. More so, the expectation of such violence furthered by the organization of violence poses an entire separate and graver problem. If players for a club, say West Ham United, aren't willing to fight (scuffle or elbow aside) with the players from an opposing side, then why do fans--mere consumers of a product--feel a need to do so with opposing fans?

If there is a sentiment within man that demands of him a need to struggle for his beliefs, attachments, passions, then there surely are more comendable acts displaying significantly more honor (HERE or HERE or HERE).

Otherwise, stay peaceful.


Footage of West Ham & Millwall riot from August 25, 2009:

BBC Story on August 25th West Ham/Millwall incident (Here)

Story on history of West Ham & Millwall supporter violence (Here)

Documentary style footage of the 1985 incident between Manchester United and West Ham firms (source unknown):

USA 1 - 0 Trinidad & Tobago

On a lighter note, the USA beat Trinidad & Tobago last night in FIFA World Cup qualifying.
The US squad had a lackluster performance again, but fortunately Tim Howard (Keeper, FC Everton) was positively awesome and Ricardo Clark's (Midfield, Houston Dynamo) goal was nasty. Sidenote, T&T's Kenwyne Jones was awesome. At first glance, his size and athleticism may be something the USA squad is missing at the forward position. I'm not sold on the tandem of Charlie Davies and Jozy Altidore in the dual-striker position, although I love them as individual footballers. (ESPN Recap HERE).

Highlights from last night's match:

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